Web Marketing for the Music Business

Download Free ebooks Web Marketing for the Music Business
Web Marketing for the Music Business ebook Description :
The introduction of the compact disc in 1983 revived the recorded music industry, which had been in a slump since 1979. This revolutionary new format for disseminating recorded music proved to be a boon for companies and consumers alike. Certain factors contributed to the overwhelming financial success of the format. The CD format is standardized, so there are no compatibility issues, and the advantages to the consumer were obvious. CDs were initiated by the record labels and partnering hardware companies rather than outside businesses. Most important for the record labels, the music that consumers currently owned was not transferable—consumers needed to pay to replace their vinyl and cassette collections. The industry experienced a similar revolution in the late 1990s, but this time the record labels chose not to participate. Indeed, they attempted to thwart the coming age of digital downloads—a move that contributed to an industry downturn that has been occurring since 2000. This should be a time of great opportunity in the music industry. As Chris Anderson pointed out in his book The Long Tail, the costs of creating musical works, the cost of dissemination, and the costs of marketing have all been reduced by computers and Internet access. There is more music being created and recorded today than at any time in history. There is more music being consumed today, as fans carry their entire music collections with them on portable devices. But for the record business, the transition has proved difficult. The record labels thought they were sailing toward a future of continued growth in CD sales. Then they were hit by the perfect storm.
Consumers prefer cherry-picking songs, buying the singles they like without being forced to buy an entire CD. But with the demise of the physical single (no longer found in any format), consumers had been forced to turn to albums to get the songs they like. My research at the time indicated that consumers were reluctant to “pay 18 dollars to get the one or two songs” they wanted. The adoption of digital downloads would offer the labels the ability to revive the “single” in a format that yields a profit at a reasonable price, while satisfying the customer preference for cherry-picking. And even in the absence of an initiative on the part of the industry to provide their music in a digital downloading format, consumers demonstrated their readiness to embrace the MP3 format and move their music collections from the CD tower to the hard drive. First came illegal peer-to-peer file sharing, facilitated by MP3.com and followed by Napster. There were no legal alternatives for the consumer to download those coveted songs. Concerned for the security of their intellectual property, record labels were reluctant to license music to downloading services. Then Steve Jobs created a plan to introduce a closed system that would protect the copyright holder while allowing consumers to cherry-pick and download tracks to their portable iPods. A few years later, with iTunes holding over 70% of the market, the labels became concerned that Jobs was wielding too much control over the industry. They began looking for other ways to sell music. Numerous business models are in the beta-testing stage at the time of this writing. Those include subscription music services, copy-protected and non-copy-protected downloads, advertiser-sponsored music, streaming music services, and probably a few others being discussed behind closed doors. Despite the confusion in how to best profit from music so that the industry can continue to develop new talent, there is an abundance of opportunity for reviving the industry. The one certainty is that the compact disc is in a phase of decline and is unlikely to experience a revival. For all its attributes—including fidelity, portability, durability, and the cool, shiny look—the CD has its share of negatives. Compared to digital downloads, the CD is inconvenient, bulky, costly, and a burden on the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, about 100,000 CDs and other optical discs become waste each month. It’s difficult to determine the total environmental impact of using CDs to disseminate music, movies, and computer software. However, one study estimates an impact of one kilogram of carbon dioxide equivalents for each music CD that is produced, packaged, and delivered (about one-third the amount of a paperback book). Another study cites a one-kilogram difference between physical CD distribution and the electronic distribution equivalent—half for manufacture of the disc and half for distribution. www.Earth2tech.com asserts that the materials and additives in CDs and jewel cases include polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a polycarbonate plastic, an aluminum layer over the plastic, and resin. Compact discs are not biodegradable, and when incinerated they release toxins into the atmosphere. Earth2tech states, “Publishers and vendors in these markets [CD and DVD] can and should lessen their impact on the environment by moving to ‘green’ electronic distribution.” Perhaps more artists should consider adopting reusable jump drives to store and sell music at live venues and other places where physical product is still important. And otherwise, they should support licensed downloading services for the electronic dissemination of their works. Until then, these artists should encourage the recycling of optical discs. This book offers numerous tips on how to move from CDs to new, virtual music marketing, promotion, discovery, and acquisition. In the recording industry, we have entered a brave new world—it’s time for the music business to lead instead of follow.
Web Marketing for the Music Business ebook Download Link :